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Re: Nut Substitute

I've never been a big fan of nuts, but my mother was NUTS about them :)
Then she had to have emergency surgery for diverticulitis and now it's 
no: nuts, seeds or popcorn. I would really miss the seeds and the 
popcorn, but she's been craving nuts. My sister brought a jar of 
"Wheatnuts" to the beach for a treat. The flavor and texture are nutlike, 
but I couldn't make my brain think they were nuts :) My mother LOVED them 
though.. so maybe nutaholics would go for them. I think they would be 
good in salads and for snacking... I don't know how they would be in 
baked goods or anything slow cooked. They might turn to mush :(
I remembered them from like the 70s in Illinois.... hadn't seen them 
since. My sister also finds fatfree shredded cheese with garlic and 
oregano added-- best pizza cheese I've had since swearing off the real 
thing. She lives in Jacksonville, NC... only about 100 miles from me in 
Raleigh... but has all sorts of weird little things in her regular 
grocery. Maybe they're a test market. Or maybe those Wheatnuts had been 
there since the 70s :) :) :) :) :)

Re: Pasta dishes w/ other than tomato sauce

Could you do an orzo dish? My friend Nancy ("I cook with wine... and 
sometimes I put it in the food") taught me an easy, luscious 
Mushroom Onion Orzo. Sorry I don't have exact directions (she was also 
teaching me to cook "with" wine :>), but it doesn't seem to need them too 

Mushroom Onion Orzo

1 lb Orzo
1 lrg purple onion, chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced (or less if you don't wanna :>)
About 1-1.5 lbs of your favorite mushrooms, half chopped, half chunked
1/4 c. each chopped fresh basil & oregano
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Red wine (She uses Pinot Noir.. I usually have some leftover cheap Burgundy)

Cook & drain the Orzo according to package directions.
"Saute" the onion and garlic in some wine.
Add the chopped mushrooms and enough wine to cover them.
Simmer until the mushrooms are tender and giving up their juices.
(Add wine during simmering if needed to keep mushrooms covered.)
Gently stir in basil, parsley & oregano 
(I dunno why gently, but it's very dramatic.. all that lush green)
Taste. Add salt & pepper if the spirit moves you.

Put the cooked orzo in the bottom of a deep casserole dish
(I actually use a ceramic souffle pan)
Spread the "chunked" mushrooms over the orzo.
Pour the wine/mushroom/onion sauce over (and through) the mushrooms.
Cover & bake at 350 for 30 mins.
Use a big spoon and dig through the layers to serve.

My husband once had me add a few shakes of dried red pepper. I couldn't 
even taste it though all the garlic, but he proclaimed it much improved.
He's always "fixing" my homemade recipes.
I've tried slicing the second half of the mushrooms, but the sauce 
doesn't seem to get down into the orzo as well.
Sorry this is so long!
- Marya